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Pests Affecting Tomato Crops During Fruiting Stage

Maintaining your tomato plants, particularly during the fruiting stage, can be quite a challenge due to the heightened risk of pest infestations. In this article, we will explore the various pests that commonly attack tomato plants during this critical growth phase. Additionally, we will discuss effective control measures to safeguard your precious tomato crop. 

Common pests that could affect your tomato plants during the fruiting stage:  


Causal Organism: Thrips tabaci  


  • These tiny insects feed on both the leaves and fruits of your tomato plants. 
  • They can also spread Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TOSPO), causing additional harm to your plants. 

Control Measures

Red Spider Mite

Causal Organism: Tetranychus spp. 


  • These mites feed on the sap from the leaves, resulting in reddish-brown and bronzy areas on the lower leaf surface. 
  • Severe infestations can lead to the creation of silken webbing on leaves, flowers, and fruits, ultimately affecting flower and fruit formation. 
  • The infested leaves, flowers, and fruits may wither and dry. 

Control Measures

  • Use Borneo Insecticide (Etoxazole 10% SC) at the rate of 0.3 ml per liter of water. (Or) 
  • Use Oberon Insecticide (Spiromesifen 22.9% SC) or Kunoichi Miticide (Cyenopyrafen 30% SC) at the rate of 0.5 ml per liter of water. 

Serpentine Leaf Miner

Causal Organism: Liriomyza trifolii 


  • This pest causes distinctive serpentine patterns on the tomato leaves. 
  • As they mine within the leaves, they cause curling, drying, and eventual leaf drop. 
  • The yellowish-brown maggots can also mine into the leaves and pupate within the mines.   

Control Measures 

Tomato Pinworm 

Causal Organism: Tuta absoluta 


  • This notorious pest targets the terminal/apical buds, leaves, stems, and flowers of tomato plants. 
  • The pinworm lays eggs on the underside of the leaves, and its larvae can cause significant damage by mining between the upper and lower leaf surfaces.  
  • The appearance of clear patches that are often partially filled with frass. 
  • They also cause damage to the tomato stem by boring into them and leaving frass at the stem nodes.  

Control Measures

  • Use Vayego Insecticide (Tetraniliprole 200 g/L SC) at the rate of 0.5 ml per liter of water. (Or) 
  • Use Exponus Insecticide (Broflanilide 300 G/L SC) at the of 25 ml per acre. (Or) 
  • Use Coragen Insecticide (Chlorantraniliprole 18.5 % SC) at the rate of 0.3 ml per liter of water.  

Tomato Gram Pod Borer

Causal Organism: Helicoverpa armigera 


  • The larvae of this pest feed on the leaves and attack fruits, eating the internal tissues voraciously to be completely hollowed out. 
  • While feeding, the caterpillar thrusts its head inside the fruit and leaves the rest of the body outside the fruit.  
  • This single-gram pod borer is known to destroy 2-8 fruits. 

Control Measures 

Tobacco Caterpillar

Causal Organism: Spodoptera litura 


  • In its early stages, the caterpillars scrape the chlorophyll content of the leaves, leading to the papery white appearance. 
  • Initially, irregular holes appear on leaves, which slowly results in skeletonization of leaves, leaving only veins and petioles.  
  • As they grow, they become voracious feeders, creating irregular holes in both the leaves and fruits. 

Control Measures

  • Use Sumipleo Insecticide (Pyridalyl 10% EC) at the rate of 1 to 1.5 ml per liter of water. (Or) 
  • Use Plethora Insecticide (Novaluron 5.25% + Indoxacarb 4.5% SC) at the rate of 1.5 to 2 ml per liter of water. 

Root Knot Nematodes

Causal Organisms: Meloidogyne incognita and Meloidogyne javanica  


  • Root-knot nematodes mainly infect plant roots. 
  • They cause the development of root-knot galls, stunted root growth and nutrient depletion, ultimately leading to the death of the plant. 

Control Measures

  • Use Velum Prime Nematicide (Flupyrm 34.48% SC) at the rate of 250 to 500 ml per acre. (Or)  
  • Alternatively, you can also use any one of the below-mentioned enriched farmyard manure (FYM) to control Root Knot Nematodes. 
  • Use Paecilomyces lilacainus and Trichoderma harzianum at the rate of 2 to 3 kg per ton of FYM. (Or) 
  • Use Pseudomonas fluorescens and Trichoderma harzianum or Tricoderma viride at the rate of 3 to 5 kg per ton of FYM. 

Remember to leave this mixture in the shade for 15 days with adequate moisture to aid the multiplication of the beneficial microbes.

Using Traps and Lures for Trap Control

For those who prefer to avoid using chemicals, traps, and lures offer effective alternatives to control pests in tomato plants. Various traps and lures can target fruit flies, pinworms, and sucking pests in tomato plants.

Recommended Traps and Lures for Pest Control

  • Use 10 to 12 Vegfly lures and traps per acre. 
  • To control Tuta absoluta, use 12 to 15 pinworm lures per acre. 
  • Use 8 to 10 Sawtooth traps per acre. 
  • Alternatively, place 120 to 150 sticky traps (blue and yellow) per acre. These sticky traps are ideal for controlling sucking pests like thrips, mites, aphids, whiteflies, and jassids.  


By staying vigilant and employing the appropriate control measures, you can protect your tomato plants from these pests during the fruiting stage. Whether it is using insecticides, organic alternatives, or traps and lures, choose the best approach that suits your farming practices.

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